Nova Scotians are encouraged to gear up and head to one of the province’s open waterways when the winter fishing season opens on New Year’s Day. “Sportfishing is a popular outdoor activity that our province offers and generates over $58 million in revenue annually,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “Safety is very important when fishing in the winter. “I want to remind anglers to dress in layers and if fishing through the ice to check the ice thickness and conditions before proceeding.” Freshwater lakes open for winter provide a chance to fish for brook and rainbow trout, white and yellow perch and chain pickerel around the province. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture stock many lakes with trout every winter to ensure anglers have a good chance to catch a fish. A general fishing licence is required to winter fish and can be purchased at Department of Lands and Forestry offices. Licences purchased in 2018 are valid until March 31. Anglers can take advantage of the annual winter sportfishing weekend Feb. 16 to Feb. 18, when residents and non-residents can fish in open winter sportfishing areas without a licence. The Nova Scotia Anglers’ Handbook is available online at https://novascotia.ca/fish/documents/Anglers-Handbook-2018.pdf . Information on winter fishing regulations and open lakes are on pages 48-50.